Mazda MX-5 Road Test (2009)

The Mazda MX-5 Interior

Mazda MX-5 Review

Mazda MX-5 ReviewMazda MX-5 Review | Part Two

Either way there is the briefest of pauses before the burst of energy impressively accelerates the car

There are two engine choices for the Mazda MX-5; the 126PS 1.8i and the 160 PS 2.0i; both are petrol and both have been revised to produce less emissions and better fuel consumption. The 1.8 is available in SE trim only and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The various tweaks have reduced the CO2 emissions by 7g/km from 174- to 167g/km and improved the fuel consumption from 38.7- to 40.4mpg.

This combination starts the pricing at £16,345 and in most cases the hard top adds £2,000 to these prices. The Mazda MX-5 base model now features standard items that used to be optional extras. The specification now comprises alloy wheels, powered and heated door mirrors, powered windows, leather-trimmed gearknob and steering wheel, stainless steel scuff plates, a radio/CD player with six speakers and an AUX jack. Safety features include ABS with EBD front airbags and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser system.

The 2.0i unit produces 160PS at 7,000rpm and 188Nm at 5,000rpm. When mated to one of the manual transmissions these outputs allow a top speed of 132mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds for the soft-top: 136mph and 8.9 seconds for the Roadster Coupe.

At SE level, the 2.0i adds Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS), a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and side airbags for £17,345.

The same engine in Sport Tech trim is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and adds a front suspension strut brace, Bilstein shock absorbers, front fogs, 17-inch alloys and heated leather seats, climate control air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and BOSE sound system with a 6CD changer and seven speakers. It does bear a price of £19,695, but this is a well-founded reflection of the extra quality of materials, goodies and spirit.

The Mazda MX-5 2.0i PowerShift tops the range at £20,195 and was the test car. Apart from all of the Sport Tech items, it adds a 6-speed sequential and automatic gearbox with paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Unusually, the rear, finger-paddles are used for shifting up and the two thumb paddles are for downshifts.

The various methods can be used in combination; for instance a swift up-change in full automatic mode can be achieved by using either the paddles or the shift lever. Either way there is the briefest of pauses before the burst of energy impressively accelerates the car.

Used with care, twisting lanes can become a playground in which to explore the Mazda MX-5's agility and composure. Thus proving that it has lost nothing of its appeal and fun, over the years and is still as good as it ever was.

9 November 2009 Melanie Carter
Mazda MX-5 ReviewMazda MX-5 Review | Part Two
Mazda MX-5 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMazda Mazda MX-5 2.0i PowerShift
Body TypeConvertible
ColourMetropolitan Grey Mica
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph8.5 seconds
Top Speed 132 mph
Transmission6-Speed Sequential Automatic
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban25.9 mpg
Extra Urban46.3 mpg
Combined35.8 mpg
Insurance Group13
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 09/11/09)£20,195

The information contained within this Mazda MX-5 review may have changed since publication on the 9 November 2009. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mazda dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019